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Dual-task performances can be improved in patients with dementia: a randomized controlled trial


Schwenk, M., Zieschang, T., Oster, P., Hauer, K.


Neurology, Volume: 74, No.: 24, Pages.: 1961-1968

Year of Publication



Background: Deficits in attention-related cognitive performance measured as dual-task performance represent early markers of dementia and are associated with motor deficits and increased risk of falling. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a specific dual-task training in patients with mild to moderate dementia.; Methods: Sixty-one geriatric patients with confirmed dementia took part in a 12-week randomized, controlled trial. Subjects in the intervention group (IG) underwent dual-task-based exercise training. The control group (CG) performed unspecific low-intensity exercise. Motor performance (gait speed, cadence, stride length, stride time, single support) and cognitive performance (serial 2 forward calculation [S2], serial 3 backward calculation [S3]) were examined as single and dual tasks. Decrease in performance during dual tasks compared to single task expressed as motor, cognitive, and combined motor/cognitive dual-task cost (DTC) was calculated before and after intervention. Primary outcome was defined as DTC for gait speed under complex S3 conditions.; Results: Specific training significantly improved dual-task performance under complex S3 conditions compared to the CG (reduction of DTC: gait speed 21.7% IG, 2.6% CG, p < 0.001; other gait variables: 8.7% to 41.1% IG, -0.9% to 8.1% CG, p

Bibtex Citation

@article{Schwenk_2010, doi = {10.1212/wnl.0b013e3181e39696}, url = {}, year = 2010, month = {may}, publisher = {Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)}, volume = {74}, number = {24}, pages = {1961--1968}, author = {M. Schwenk and T. Zieschang and P. Oster and K. Hauer}, title = {Dual-task performances can be improved in patients with dementia: A randomized controlled trial}, journal = {Neurology} }


aged, aged, 80 and over, cognition, dementia, double-blind method, exercise, female, gait, humans, length, male, motor, performance, physiology, physiopathology, psychology, psychomotor performance, speed, support, therapy, time, walking

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified)

Types of Study

Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes

Cognition, Physical Health

Type of Interventions

Non-pharmacological Treatment

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

Exercise (inc. dancing)